Here I provide a comprehensive list of the best of the coming week’s TV – with tangos in Blackpool and Halifax, and a lot for Doctor Who fans!
Saturday 16th November
Strictly Come Dancing
A bittersweet week at Strictly. On the one hand, we’re now over half way through the series. On the other, Brucie’s back. Still, never mind.
After a two year absence, Brucie, Tess and co. are returning to Blackpool to present an episode from the famous Tower Ballroom. Dances this week include the Paso Doble, Quickstep, Jive, Charleston and American Smooth.
Of course, now that Marmite contestant Dave Myers has left, the competition can now really begin. To me, there is no obvious celebrity to be the next to leave. I guess the weakest contestants could be said to be Fiona Fullerton and Mark Benton but even they’re by no means bad dancers – and it all comes down to the dance-off: if the public don’t pick up the phone and vote for their favourites, strong contestants could end up going. So there are no guarantees with Strictly – even those who are considered to be the best dancers (Abbey, Natalie, Sophie, etc.) aren’t completely safe. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
Also today: Children in Need: The Best Bits (BBC1, 5:20pm); Andrea McLean and Robbie Savage are on The Chase: Celebrity Special (ITV, 7:00pm); it’s Great British Songbook week on The X Factor (ITV, 8:00pm); Doctor Who: Greatest Monsters and Villains Weekend continues (BBC3, 8:00pm); Benjamin Britten on Camera (BBC4, 8:00pm); Borgen’s back (BBC4, 9:00pm); and Jonathan Ross welcomes some big names (for once), including Sarah Millican, Eminem, Oprah Winfrey, Forrest Whitaker and (prepare for the screams) One Direction at 9:30pm.
Sunday 17th November
I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!
It’s back! Prepare for three weeks of bitchiness, Bushtucker Trials and kangaroo bums and bo…sorry, testicles, as Ant and Dec bring us the latest from the Aussie jungle. But who are the celebrities who are bravely entering the camp this year? Well, there’s…
Professional snooker player, Steve Davis OBE
Model, Signed by Katie Price winner and this year’s Myleene Klass, Amy Willerton
TOWIE star, Joey Essex
One fifth of Westlife, Kian Egan
The Wright Stuff presenter and enemy of John Leslie, Matthew Wright
Olympic gold medallist, Rebecca Adlington
Princess Diana’s dress designer, David Emanuel
Eastenders’ Big Mo, Laila Morse
Fresh Prince star, Alfonso Ribeiro
Emmerdale’s Chas, Lucy Pargeter
Not the best line-up, maybe, but hopefully they’ll throw up a few surprises – as well as their witchetty grubs.
Also today: JFK: The Final Visit to Britain (BBC2, 6:00pm); the newly-tattooed David Dimbleby presents Britain and the Sea (BBC1, 9:00pm); Respect: A Felix Dexter Special (BBC2, 10:00pm) pays tribute to the comedian who died last month; and Laura, Joe and Rob return with I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here Now! (ITV2, 10:30pm).
Monday 18th November
Fear of Flying: Caught of Camera
Channel 4, 9:00pm
One fifth of the UK population lives with aviophobia: the fear of flying. They wake up in cold sweats the day before a flight and often try to make a bolt for the door before take off.
This documentary features footage recorded by some aviophobes as they embark on flights, showing the extent of their fear. There are also insights from aviation experts, who offer advice on how best to overcome a fear of flying, and clips of when things go wrong in the air. Although exactly how helpful this is in a documentary about an intense fear of flying I have no idea.
Also today: Doctor Who stars past and present share their favourite moments from the show in The Ultimate Guide to Doctor Who (BBC3, 8:00pm); John Hannah narrates 7 Days That Made the Führer (Channel 5, 9:00pm); and Jim Al-Khalili presents two-part documentary Light and Dark (BBC4, 9:00pm).
Tuesday 19th November
Last Tango in Halifax
Sally Wainwright’s excellent, BAFTA-winning comedy drama returns for a second series.
Last Tango in Halifax follows loved-up septuagenarians Alan (Derek Jacobi) and Celia (Anne Reid), who have been reunited after six decades apart. As we left the pair and their families at the end of the last series, Alan was very ill and had recently called off his and Celia’s wedding, after she failed to accept her daughter’s decision to end her marriage and come out as lesbian. It looked like Celia was going to lose Alan once again, and this series picks up from that point.
Will the couple be able to get their relationship back on track, and is a romance blossoming between Alan’s daughter and Celia’s ex-son-in-law? Probably – otherwise I wouldn’t have brought it up…
Also today: Not a lot. Um…the brilliant Hebburn continues (BBC2, 10:00pm) but that’s it. Even I’m a Celebrity… has been replaced by the football!
Wednesday 20th November
Preceded by Jack Whitehall Live at 9:00pm, this new chat show is presented by the Fresh Meat star and his dad, Michael.
Backchat is a mixture of sketches and chat with celebrities (Danny Dyer and Jeremy Paxman are on the first episode), hosted by the father and son duo.
Now, the pair were on Chatty Man last week and their bickering and banter was very funny. For about thirty seconds. I’m a huge fan of Jack’s but I’m afraid that I’m not holding out much hope for Backchat. I have a feeling that Michael’s criticisms of his son’s jokes and cluelessness about the guests will become very, very tedious very, very quickly.
Also today: Nigel and Adam’s Farm Kitchen (BBC1, 8:00pm); and Ben Shepherd and Julia Bradbury present new series, Mystery Map (ITV, 8:00pm).
Thursday 21st November
An Adventure in Space and Time
This eagerly-anticipated, fact-based drama tells the story of how Doctor Who began fifty years ago, and the challenges that producer Verity Lambert faced in persuading the BBC to make it.
Written by Doctor Who and Sherlock scribe, Mark Gatiss and starring David Bradley (Mount Pleasant) and Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife), An Adventure in Space and Time takes us back to 1963, when William Hartnell and Lambert were both incredibly frustrated with their careers. While she was trying to break through the glass ceiling of TV production, he was fed up of being offered hard-man roles and was feeling trapped. However, this little Saturday teatime drama was about to unexpectedly change both of their fortunes and become the longest-running sci-fi series in the world.
Also today: Animal Odd Couples (BBC1), Charley Boorman’s USA Adventure (Channel 5) and Inside RAF Brize Norton (Sky1 HD) all begin at 8:00pm; Children of the Master Race (Channel 5, 9:00pm) meets three people who were products of the Nazi birthing programme; and the final series of Him & Her begins (BBC3, 10:00pm), with the next five weeks focusing on Paul and superbitch Laura’s wedding.
Friday 22nd November
The Culture Show: Me, You and Doctor Who
Broadcaster and Doctor Who superfan Matthew Sweet believes that the show is far more than a piece of children’s television. He says that it is an integral part of modern British culture and something we should embrace and be extremely proud of.
During this one hour special, he takes us on a journey through the past five decades, tracing Doctor Who’s huge influence on television and music and meeting cast and crew old and new to discuss the huge importance of this little show.
Also today: One-off documentary The Nazi Killers (Channel 5, 9:00pm); John Denver: Country Boy (BBC4, 9:00pm) recounts the singer-songwriter’s life; George Clooney tells the story of Kennedy’s assassination in JFK: News of a Shooting (More4, 9:00pm); Live at the Apollo returns (BBC1, 9:30pm); Micky Flanagan, Sheridan Smith and Bastille are on Chatty Man (Channel 4, 10:00pm); Emma Thompson, Jimmy Carr, Robbie Williams and Matt Smith and David Tennant pull up a pew for The Graham Norton Show (BBC1, 10:35pm); and Martin Bayfield takes us back to 2003 in Rugby World Cup Winners: Ten Years On (ITV, 10:35pm).
Are you particularly looking forward to any of these shows or is there something else from the world of TV which you want to have your say about? Feel free to comment below or tweet me –@UKTVReviewer.
Image credits: Strictly Come Dancing – Thanks to BBC and Ray Burmiston, ©BBC; I’m a Celebrity… – ©ITV; Last Tango in Halifax – Thanks to BBC, Anthony and Cleopatra Series and Ben Blackall, ©Anthony and Cleopatra Series Ltd.; Backchat – Thanks to BBC and Pete Dadds, ©BBC; An Adventure in Space and Time – Thanks to BBC and Hal Shinnie, ©BBC; The Culture Show: Me, You and Doctor Who – ©BBC.